Sitting vacant for 15 years, a once abandoned sandstone cottage in Sydney’s Hunter’s Hill has been given a new lease of life, transformed from its original, derelict state into a stunning home.
Featuring a heavily deteriorated shingle cedar roof, with exposed sarking and damaged timber beam supports, it was in need of significant attention. Internally it was dated and needed a new ceiling, walls, bathroom, kitchen and doors.
Wanting to retain the historic design of the home, architect Sam Tadros of Manor House Design Australia, focused on maintaining the integral parts of the home. “It’s rare that homes like this are built anymore, with this level of detail and character. As part of this vision I was focused on maintaining the design scheme of the external perimeter and existing structural elements, most importantly the sandstone walls.”
However, what needed to go immediately was the roof, which as a result of the home being sunken from the road is one of the first things you see on approach. “I considered a number of roofing options, but the decision ultimately came down to the aesthetics that complemented the sandstone and were the best value at the time. I chose Boral Terracotta Shingle roof tiles in the dark toned Eclipse to complement the yellow sandstone.”
Aesthetically speaking, terracotta is a natural material and as a result has some variation in shape and colour to add texture and depth. This avoids the look of having one big flat roof section and is softer on the eyes. This is difficult to achieve with ceramic or metal roofing, which has a very solid, manufactured and consistent look. The proportion of the tiles, being smaller than sheet metal or large slabs of slate, also worked perfectly with the size of the sandstone blocks.
Other important factors for Sam were flexibility and cost-efficiency: “I wanted to retain the original copper down pipes and gutters – copper is for life – so I had to select a roofing material that could be integrated with these. As part of the project, additional timber beams were required to support the extra weight of the terracotta tiles, however even factoring in those costs, terracotta fell within budget and proved a cost-effective option.”